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David Mittleman
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Yet Another Diet Pill Deemed Dangerous

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February may be just around the corner, but the flood of companies trying to cash in on people’s New Year’s Resolutionshttp://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/New_Years_Resolutions.shtml (before they become distant memory) is still going strong – try and watch 30 minutes of television and see for yourself. Unfortunately, not all of the products out there are safe for consumers.

Yet another diet pill has been singled out by the Food and Drug Administration because it contains the controlled substance sibutramine. The diet pill is Venom HYPERDRIVE 3.0, yet another catchy name that promises quick results. Too bad it can put you in the hospital in the process.

The risks for sibutramine are that it can "substantially increase blood pressure and heart rate, and may present a significant risk for people with a history of heart disease, heart failure, irregular heart beats or stroke."

You know what is really disappointing about this? People who need to lose weight, in order to improve their health, are often times people who already have high blood pressure, as well as a history of both heart trouble and strokes. These folks try to lose weight to avoid complicating those very same health concerns. But now, when they go to a store and pick up a "dietary supplement" they risk the chance that in trying to lose weight, they’re still exposing themselves to serious health risks.

When the FDA first exposed this pill as unsafe, its manufacturer claimed that it had only "trace amounts" of sibutramine (I guess because trace amounts of an addictive substance would only slightly increase your health risks?); however, further testing proved that each dose of the diet pill had significant amounts of sibutramine. It’s time to hold manufacturers accountable for trying to run around safety procedures by marketing dangerous, controlled substances as dietary supplements when they know for a fact that they are not.